Department for the research of materials in extreme conditions
New scientific equipment procured through the KaCIF project will allow a transformation of the existing solid state physics laboratories at the Institute of Physics into a modern centre for materials science equipped with the state-of-the-art experimental setups of the highest measuring standards. The department will be comprised of four laboratories specialized for characterization and comprehensive research of specific physical properties of a wide range of materials:
- Laboratory for magnetic properties
- Laboratory for transport and thermodynamic properties
- Laboratory for extremely low temperatures and high magnetic fields
- Laboratory for high pressures
Laboratory for magnetic properties
The laboratory will be completely equipped for the detailed and complete magnetic characterization of different magnetic materials which is indispensable for both the fundamental and the applied research. This laboratory will contain new scientific equipment: high-resolution magnetometer with the SQUID detector which allows measurements of the magnetic moment, ac magnetic susceptibility and magnetic anisotropy in the temperature range 0.5-1000 K and in magnetic field up to 7 T, under pressure of up to 10 GPa, along with the vibrating sample magnetometer. The existing experimental equipment for the measurements of magnetic properties at the Institute of Physics is comprised of Cryobind high-precision ac magnetic susceptometer (temperature range 1.5-800 K), system for high-precision ac susceptibility measurements in applied dc field up to 9 T with electric field option, as well as high pressure option (up to 2.7 GPa), torque magnetometer for magnetic anisotropy measurement (1.8-300 K, magnetic field up to 5 T) and Faraday susceptometer (1.8-300 K, magnetic field up to 0.9 T).
During and after the implementation of the KaCIF project the widening of the existing research is planned along with the establishment of the new research directions. Specifically, investigation of the magnetic nanoparticles in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry will be continued, as well as the research of the new generation of the Fe-Cr and ODS steels with application for nuclear fusion and in the fourth generation of fision reactors through expanding of the collaboration with the Eurofusion Consortium and the EERA. Other topics include unconventional magnetic systems, quantum spin liquids, magnetoelectrics and multiferroics, superconductors etc.
Laboratory for transport and thermodynamic properties
The laboratory will be equipped with modern scientific equipment which allows fast characterization of the samples in magnetic fields up to 16 T. New equipment will offer fast samples exchange, measurements on several samples simultaneously as well as relatively simple measurement preparation in the wide temperature and magnetic field range. This allows for simple, fast and informative measurements, while specialized equipment will be assigned to more detailed and challenging experiments. This will significantly increase the scientific productivity in comparison to the existing laboratory structure at the Institute of Physics, and also open a possibility for wider collaboration with scientific and industrial sector. This versatile laboratory will be equipped for research of the wide range of different materials: from conventional metals, semimetals, superconductors, band-insulators, exotic magnetoelectrics with spontaneous or induced polarization, glasses, multiferroics, nanostructures, thin films and heterogeneous structures.
New scientific equipment of this laboratory consists of the system for measurement of physical properties (dc and ac electric resistivity, heat conductivity, thermopower, heat capacity) in magnetic fields up to 16 T, in the temperature range 1.9-400 K and under pressures of up to 20 GPa. The laboratory will also use the existing scientific equipment: the dielectric spectroscopy setup with magnetic field option (~0.1pF, ~TOhm, 0.1 Hz – 10 MHz, 2-300 K, 5 T), the pyrocurrent setup, the dc and pulsed nonlinear conductivity setup, setup for the magnetoresistance and Hall effect measurements (2-300 K, 5 T), setup for the thermopower and heat conductivity measurement (1.5–300 K, 8 T), setup for the nonlinear electric conductivity measurements (10-250 K) and setup for the heat capacity measurements (1.5–300 K, 8 T).
Laboratory for extremely low temperatures and high magnetic fields
The laboratory will be equipped with the experimental setup capable of reaching temperatures two orders of magnitude smaller than what we have at the moment (10-20 mK compared to 1.5 K) in twice as large magnetic field (20 T compared to 10 T). This will be achieved by the new experimental equipment procured through the KaCIF project: dilution refrigerator with 20 T superconducting magnet, experimental inserts (multifunction insert with different wiring options, high-frequency insert, insert with rotator, vacuum sample holder for testing in liquid helium), VTI insert for high magnetic field measurements outside of the dilution refrigerator. Existing experimental methods will be adjusted for measurements in dilution refrigerator: anisotropic magnetoresistance (using rotator), Hall effect, electrical transport, heat transport. thermopower, heat capacity, dielectric spectroscopy, pyrocurrent, magnetic susceptibility. Measurements of electrical conductivity, thermopower and magnetic susceptibility under pressure will also be adjusted for dilution cryostat.
The equipment in this laboratory will allow for study of new ground states and excitations in heavy fermion systems, complex metals (quasicrystals, complex metallic alloys and metallic glasses), low-dimensional organic and inorganic conductors, low-dimensional magnets, graphene and other 2D materials, multiferroic and magnetoelectric systems. Low temperatures combined with high magnetic field will allow the Fermi surface study by measurements of quantum oscillations in resistivity (Shubnikov-de Haas effect), magnetic susceptibility (de Haas-van Alphen effect), heat capacity, the study of the quantum, spin and anomalous Hall effect as well as of the magnetic field induced electric polarization.
Laboratory for high pressures
The laboratory for high pressure will be equipped with the high pressure cells capable of applying hydrostatic as well as uniaxial pressure on the samples and compatible with the equipment and experimental techniques from our other laboratories. This will allow us to determine (T, B, p) phase diagrams of the systems under study in a wide temperature, magnetic field and pressure range.
New scientific equipment in this laboratory will include: uniaxial pressure cells based on piezo crystals (with working distance of 6 μm), piston cylinder pressure cells compatible with PPMS and dilution refrigerator (up to 3 GPa) and SQUID magnetometer (up to 1.3 GPa) and diamond pressure cells compatible with PPMS and dilution refrigerator (up to 20 GPa) and SQUID magnetometer (up to 10 GPa). The laboratory will also exploit the existing research equipment: piston cylinder pressure cell for hydrostatic pressure (up to 2.7 GPa), diamond pressure cell (up to 10 GPa), laboratory press, optical setup for the measurement of the ruby fluorescence line and EDM drilling setup.
Materials which will be studied during and after the implementation of the project include complex metallic alloys, layered materials from the family of transition metal dichalcogenides, high-temperature superconductors, materials with topological states of matter and other exotic materials which will come into focus of the scientific community.